Centre preparing Bill to attach properties of NRI husbands in domestic violence cases

The Ministry of External Affairs, along with women and child development, home and law ministries are involved in the exercise

With a rise in cases of domestic violence and abandonment against women who had married non-resident Indians (NRI), the Centre is working on a bill that will allow the government to attach properties of NRI husbands and their families if they do not respond to court summons.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), along with women and child development, home and law ministries are involved in the exercise. Officials said the court summons would be published on the MEA portal and deemed served to such NRI husbands and their families.

In the recent past, the Maharashtra State Commission of Women has been increasingly seeking help from the MEA to issue lookout notices for NRI husbands.

It has been seven months since a 29-year-old woman from Nashik filed for divorce and a case of domestic violence against her NRI husband based in Sydney. After multiple court hearings, during which the husband did not appear before the court despite summons, the woman approached the MEA questioning how does one bring an NRI back to India.

The woman had got married in December 2016 to a Pune-based man. A week later, she migrated to Australia where her husband’s family lives. “I was not comfortable with my husband’s way of performing sex and approached a psychologist in Sydney. My in-laws knew everything,” she alleged, adding that she was also forced to perform all domestic chores.

In 2017, when she returned to India for her sister’s wedding, her husband cancelled her spouse visa in Australia. “I was in shock for months… My belongings, weighing about 200 kg, are still in Australia,” she said.

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